To the Editor:
During his papacy, John Paul II was asked why women were not allowed to be priests. He responded, “On whose authority?” This maxim sums up the role of the pope and the Church throughout its 2,000 year ministry quite nicely.
From the laity to the Pope, every believing Christian is called to obedience to the will of God. No pope has ever changed the Church on a whim because it is not his Church to change. It is God’s. All the pope can do is uphold the tradition handed to him by God.
So how did God establish his priesthood? He chose twelve people as the first priests. None of them were women. A common misconception is that women are second-class citizens in the Church because they cannot be priests, but this is not true.
St. Catherine of Siena was advisor for two popes in the 1300s and was influential as a peacemaker in the Great Schism.
Mary, mother of Jesus, is the Theotokos (God bearer), Co-redemptrix, Mother of the Church, Queen of Heaven and pinnacle of creation. She is higher than the angels, and popes have had a great devotion to her throughout the centuries, and she is a woman.
Temporal power, which is the goal of the women’s rights movement, does not come from being a priest. If anything, a priest loses power because he must first give up all earthly ambitions to give his life in service to God. In Luke 11:28, our Lord said, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Priest or laity, man or woman, it doesn’t matter. The Church has been in the world, but not of the world. It is sometimes criticized for being too conservative, sometimes persecuted for being too liberal, but never changing with the seasons.
Teresa Fenn is a sophomore.